Shaquille O’Neal distances himself from failed FTX crypto trade after showing in its commercials

Basketball legend turned businessman Shaquille O’Neal is trying to distance himself from crypto after being a paid spokesperson for failed trade FTX and focused with a lawsuit for it.

“Lots of people suppose I’m concerned, however I used to be only a paid spokesperson for a business,” O’Neal informed CNBC Make it this week.

In that business, O’Neal stated he partnered with FTX to assist make crypto “accessible to everybody.” It was an sudden alliance contemplating {that a} yr earlier he informed CNBC that he was avoiding the crypto craze. 

“I don’t perceive it,” O’Neal stated on the time. “So I’ll in all probability avoid it till I get a full understanding of what it’s.”

His reasoning? He was skeptical of all of the tales of individuals making massive cash shortly. 

“Each time anyone tells me a kind of nice tales, I prefer it,” he stated. “However from my expertise, it’s too good to be true.”

Final month, purchasers of FTX withdrew billions of {dollars}’ price of holdings after the CEO of rival trade Binance tweeted that Binance would promote its holding of FTX’s FTT token. Quickly after, FTX filed for chapter, and its CEO Sam Bankman-Fried resigned after information experiences that he had allegedly co-mingled funds of FTX purchasers with one other one in every of his ventures. 

This week, Bankman-Fried was arrested and charged with a number of counts of conspiracy and fraud. With its collapse, many FTX customers have been unable to withdraw their cash from the platform—and it’s unclear in the event that they’ll ever get that cash again.  

In his interview with CNBC this week, O’Neal stated his friendship with Golden State Warriors participant Steph Curry is why appeared in FTX’s advert. A spokesperson for Curry declined CNBC’s request for remark. 

Curry, together with a number of different celebrities like soccer star Tom Brady and his quickly to be ex-wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, have been named in the identical lawsuit as O’Neal over FTX.

The lawsuit, filed in Miami by Edwin Garrison final month, seeks class motion standing on behalf of himself and FTX customers in opposition to Bankman-Fried and FTX’s superstar endorsers. The criticism describes FTX as a “Ponzi scheme,” and claims that its superstar spokespeople had endorsed unregistered securities. 

“Folks know I’m very, very trustworthy,” O’Neal stated. “I’ve nothing to cover. If I used to be closely concerned, I’d be on the forefront saying, ‘Hey.’ However I used to be only a paid spokesperson.”

In his FTX business, he stated he’s simply an on a regular basis man who checks his FTX account—and that he’s “all in.” However when requested this week if he’s bullish on crypto, he simply stated no.
O’Neal, who’s extensively referred to as Shaq, hasn’t shared how a lot he was paid to be FTX’s spokesperson. However Kevin O’Leary, an everyday on ABC’s Shark Tank investor present, who was additionally amongst FTX’s superstar spokespeople, stated he was paid round $15 million. O’Leary informed CNBC that he put practically $10 million in crypto, was given $1 million in FTX fairness, and $4 million was taken in taxes and different charges— all of it misplaced when the corporate collapsed.

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